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Friday, July 08, 2005

Destination Canada

Canada's wild northern frontier, which has etched itself into the national psyche, and its distinct patchwork of peoples have created a country that is decidedly different from its brash neighbour. It's the edginess between Canada's indigenous, French and British traditions that gives the nation its complex three-dimensional character. Add to this a constant infusion of US culture and a plethora of traditions brought by migrants, and you have a thriving multicultural society.
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Canada's capital bearhugs the southern bank of the Ottawa River, on Ontario's eastern tip. It's a government town, dominated physically and spiritually by the neo-Gothic Parliament Buildings. While not exactly excitement central, the air's clean, the streets are wide and the people are friendly.

Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, the most westerly of the prairie provinces. While Calgary milks the wild west image, Edmonton prefers to hit the headlines for housing the world's largest shopping and entertainment mall, but still enjoys an attractively wooded riverside setting.

Montréal's charm lies in its relaxed atmosphere rather than its star attractions. Nonetheless, this city of immigrants has managed to carve out a place for itself as Québec's economic and cultural centre. That it's friendly and easy to get around helps.

Although the famous Niagara Falls are nearby, Toronto isn't a city with a checklist full of attractions. It's a city that grows on you slowly. Its summer festivals, the spicy corners of its markets, the beachfront boardwalks and the music pouring out of its neighbourhood eateries seduce you.

There aren't many cities in the world that offer Vancouver's combination of big-city lifestyle and outdoor fun in such cheek-by-jowl proximity. Ski in the morning, sail in the afternoon and still make it back to town in time for a cocktail or three.

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Destination New Zealand

New Zealand is a country of rare seismic beauty: glacial mountains, fast-flowing rivers, deep, clear lakes, hissing geysers and boiling mud. There are also abundant forest reserves, long, deserted beaches and a variety of fauna, such as the kiwi, endemic to its shores.
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Wellington is situated on a splendid harbour at the southern tip of the North Island. Often maligned for its ill-tempered weather, Wellington is a lively city of culture and arts and great ethnic restaurants and cafes. It is also home to the country's government and national treasures.

This waterside city has a strong pulse and a nautical twinkle in its eye. Its bewitching location on a thin stretch of the North Island, which is surrounded by the Pacific on just about every side, is complemented by the lush subtropical forests of the nearby hills and islands.

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Destination Australia

Australia's biggest attraction is its natural beauty. The landscape varies from endless sunbaked horizons to dense tropical rainforest to chilly southern beaches. Scattered along the coasts, its cities blend a European enthusiasm for art and food with a laid-back love of sport and the outdoors.
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When the early colonists arrived and began building Adelaide they used stone. They wanted to build a solid, dignified city, a civilised and calm place, with a manner no other state capital in the country could match. Nowadays, much to the wowsers chagrin, pubs and nightclubs outnumber the churches.
The 'city of churches' has a superb setting, with a centre ringed by green parklands and a backdrop of hills. Bouncing between its musuems, fine galleries, metropolitan beaches and historic houses will keep you busy, and then there's daytrips into the Mt Lofty Ranges.

Brisbane has shucked its reputation as a backwater and emerged as one of the country's most progressive centres. It has several interesting districts, a good street cafe scene, a great riverside park, a busy cultural calendar and a thriving nightlife.
Brisbane is known for its showiness - think artificial beaches and tourist arcades - but it also has gracious architecture and tranquil parks. Its galleries and musuems are legendary, and if you need a break from the built environment it's refreshingly close to bushland and wildlife.

Melbourne is dubbed marvellous for a reason. Healthy hedonism masquerades as high art: Melburnians are equally passionate about football and ballet, fashion and restaurants. They are ravenous for music and hot for theatre. It's a smorgasbord of a city that that you'll want to sink your teeth into.
Melbourne's easy-going pace is perfect for enjoying its gracious Victorian architecture, its green wealth of parks and gardens, and its many cultural highlights. Most of the city's main sights are just a short walk or tram-hop apart, with plenty of latte pick-me-up opportunities on the way.

Sydney is Australia's oldest city, the economic powerhouse of the nation and the country's capital in everything but name. It's blessed with sun-drenched natural attractions, dizzy skyscrapers, delicious and daring restaurants, superb shopping and friendly folk.
Sydney Harbour's sandstone headlands, dramatic cliffs and stunning beaches define the city. But whichever way you look, from the white sails of the harbour to the arc of The Coathanger to the toned flesh on Bondi, Sydney is serious eye-candy.

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Destination Singapore

At first glance, Singapore appears shockingly modern and anonymous, but this is an undeniably Asian city with Chinese, Malay and Indian traditions from feng shui to ancestor worship creating part of the everyday landscape. It's these contrasts that bring the city to life.
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Chinatown is Singapore's cultural heart and still provides historic glimpses with its numerous temples, decorated terraces and its frantic conglomeration of merchants, shops and activity. Gentrified restaurants and expensive shops are gradually overtaking the venerable incense-selling professions.

Little India:
This modest but colourful area of wall-to-wall shops, pungent aromas and Hindi film music is a relief from the prim modernity of much of the city. It's the place to come to pick up that framed Ganesha print you've always wanted, eat great vegetarian food and watch streetside cooks fry chapatis.

Orchard Road:
Dominated by high-class hotels this is the playground of Singapore's elite, who are lured by the shopping centres, nightspots, restaurants, bars and lounges. A showcase for the material delights of capitalism, Orchard Rd does possess some sights of cultural interest where credit cards stay sheathed.

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Destination Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the most pleasant, hassle-free countries to visit in southeast Asia. It's buoyant and wealthy, and has moved towards a pluralist culture based on a vibrant and interesting fusion of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous cultures and customs.
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Kuala Lumpur:
Kuala Lumpur is an Asian tiger that roars: in 130 years, it has grown from nothing to a modern, bustling city of almost two million people. Take in its high-flying triumphs from the viewing deck of the world's tallest building, then dive down to explore its more traditional culture in the back lanes of Chinatown.

Cameron Highlands:
The Cameron Highlands, in the centre of Peninsular Malaysia, comprise a series of hill stations at altitudes between 1500-1800m (4920-5904ft). This fertile area is the centre of Malaysia's tea industry and it's the place where locals and visitors come to escape the heat of the plains. Attractions include jungle walks, waterfalls, tours of tea plantations, beautiful gardens and plenty of wild flowers.

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Thursday, July 07, 2005

Destination India

India is one of the most powerful nation of the Asian continent. It is also being called the Rising Power of The World. The main travel attractions in India are:

Delhi- The Indian Capital:
Discover the inner peace of a city rich with culture, architecture and human diversity, deep with history and totally addictive to epicureans.
Mix four major religions, thousands of years of history and cultural development, significant movements of different populations, invasions and colonialisation and you get one of the most vibrant and profound cultures in the world. This civilisation is evident in the plentiful historical sites around Delhi.

The Taj Mahal has become the de facto tourist emblem of India. This poignant Mughal mausoleum was constructed by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his second wife Mumtaz Mahal. The city's other major attraction is the massive red sandstone Agra Fort, also on the bank of the Yamuna River. Stunning walls, a maze of superb halls, mosques, chambers and gardens which form a small city within a city. Unfortunately some of these buildings are closed to visitors.


The allure of Goa is that it remains quite distinct from the rest of India and is small enough to be grasped and explored in a way that other Indian states are not.
It's not just the familiar remnants of Portuguese colonialism or the picture-book exoticism that make it seem so accessible; it's the prevalence of Roman Catholicism and a form of social and political progressiveness that Westerners feel they can relate to.

The capital of Rajasthan is popularly known as the 'pink city' because of the ochre-pink hue of its old buildings and crenellated city walls. The Rajputs associated the colour pink with hospitality, and reputedly daubed the city in preparation for the visit of Britain's Prince Alfred in 1853.
Jaipur is a city of broad avenues and architectural harmony, built on a dry lake bed surrounded by barren hills. It's an extremely colourful city that radiates a magical warm glow in the evening light. The most obvious landmark in the old city is the Iswari Minar Swarga Sul, which overlooks the city.

This charming, easy-going city has long been a favourite with travellers since it's a convenient size, enjoys a good climate and has chosen to retain and promote its heritage rather than replace it. The city is famous for its silk and is also a thriving sandalwood and incense centre.
Until Independence, Mysore was the seat of the maharajas of Mysore, a princely state covering about a third of present-day Karnataka. The Maharaja's Indo-Saracenic Palace is the town's major attraction, with its kaleidoscope of stained glass, ornate furnishings and carved mahogany ceilings.

This was the most important hill station in India before Independence, and the social life here in the summer months when the Brits came to escape the torrid heat of the plains was legendary - balls, bridge parties and parades went hand in hand with gossip, intrigue and romance.
Today, the officers, administrators and lah-di-dah ladies of the Raj have been replaced by throngs of holidaymakers, but echoes of Shimla's British past remain strong. The famous main street, The Mall, is lined with stately English-looking houses. Shimla sits at an altitude of over 2100m (6890ft).

The Golden Temple in Amritsar, Punjab is a must visit for every visitor in India. It is a religious place for the Sikhs.
Chandigarh is also a city worth visiting. Ludhiana also known as Manchester of India is an industrial city but the big mansions of the rich residents are simply amazing.
Punjabis are also known for their warm hospitality & you can also dig your mouth at world famous, mouth watering Sarson Da Saag & Makki Di Roti.

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This blog highlights the World's wonderful places. It can also help you to decide your holiday destination!

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